In the Press

How the FBI and the System Failed Simone Biles and, Consequently, All Women and Girls (BELatina)

How the FBI and the System Failed Simone Biles and, Consequently, All Women and Girls
U.S. elite gymnast Simone Biles’ powerful testimony before the Senate about the abuse she suffered at the hands of former team doctor Larry Nassar brings to the forefront the structural failure of the system to women and girls.


“The criminal justice system is singularly unsuited to helping women get justice after sexual violence,” Dr. Ann Olivarius, an American-British lawyer of the firm, McAllister Olivarius, who specializes in cases of civil litigation, sexual harassment, and sexual discrimination, told BELatina. “When women do report sexual violence, they’re met with a sea of barriers: They can be straight up disbelieved, or the police might have outdated prejudices about rape or assault, so-called rape myths (‘what were you wearing,’ ‘she doesn’t act like a victim would,’ ‘you can’t be raped by someone you know,’ ‘it’ll always be a case of she said/he said).”

“These prejudices run along racial lines — while all kinds of women are disbelieved, Black and Latinas are disbelieved much more. They face added damaging stereotypes that hinder their access to justice,” Dr. Olivarius added. “Not only do most victims run afoul of the statute of limitations, because many go into shock or denial after an assault and can’t report immediately — and for some, it’s simply not safe to report quickly.”

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